Jackson v. Goord, No. 97 CV 7149(GBD)(MHD).

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
Writing for the CourtGeorge B. Daniels
Citation664 F.Supp.2d 307
Decision Date21 September 2009
Docket NumberNo. 97 CV 7149(GBD)(MHD).
PartiesNahshon JACKSON, Plaintiff, v. Glen S. GOORD, George J. Bartlett, Christopher P. Artuz, R. Seitz, A. Pelc, George A. Smith, McClean, Lynn Forgit, J.P. Reilly, Hennessey and Shambo, Defendant.
664 F.Supp.2d 307
Nahshon JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
Glen S. GOORD, George J. Bartlett, Christopher P. Artuz, R. Seitz, A. Pelc, George A. Smith, McClean, Lynn Forgit, J.P. Reilly, Hennessey and Shambo, Defendant.
No. 97 CV 7149(GBD)(MHD).
United States District Court, S.D. New York.
September 21, 2009.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Nahshon Jackson, Malone, NY, pro se.

Andrew Charles Tsunis, Dennis C. Vacco, Inna Reznik, Attorney General of the State of N.Y., New York, NY, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

GEORGE B. DANIELS, District Judge:


Pro se Plaintiff brought this action alleging several violations of his constitutional rights. As the basis of his claims, Plaintiff asserts that (1) he was exposed to a host of toxic and dangerous environmental conditions, (2) he was denied adequate medical care for various maladies, (3) he was denied due process in a disciplinary hearing, (4) he was sexually assaulted by a prison officer, (5) his legal dictionary was improperly confiscated from him, and (6) he was improperly removed from his work site at the prison. Following the completion of discovery, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. This Court referred the matter to Magistrate Judge Michael H.

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Dolinger for a Report and Recommendation. Magistrate Judge Dolinger issued a Report and Recommendation ("Report") recommending that the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment be granted with respect to all of Plaintiff's claims, except for the environmental claims. This Court previously adopted the Report's recommendation.

Defendants subsequently filed a supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment on the environmental claims. The Court again referred the matter to Magistrate Judge Dolinger for a Report and Recommendation. Magistrate Judge Dolinger issued a Report and Recommendation ("Report II") recommending that the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment be denied. The Court adopts Report II's recommendation that Defendants' Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment on the environmental claims be denied.

The Court may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations set forth within Report II. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). When there are objections to a report, the Court must make a de novo determination of those portions of the report to which objections are made. Id.; see also Rivera v. Barnhart, 423 F.Supp.2d 271, 273 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). The district judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c). It is not required, however, that the Court conduct a de novo hearing on the matter. See United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 676, 100 S.Ct. 2406, 65 L.Ed.2d 424 (1980). Rather, it is sufficient that the Court "arrive at its own, independent conclusions" regarding those portions to which objections were made. Nelson v. Smith, 618 F.Supp. 1186, 1189-90 (S.D.N.Y.1985) (quoting Hernandez v. Estelle, 711 F.2d 619, 620 (5th Cir.1983)). When no objections to a report are made, the Court may adopt the report if there is no clear error on the face of the record. Adee Motor Cars, LLC v. Amato, 388 F.Supp.2d 250, 253 (S.D.N.Y.2005) (citation omitted). In his report, Magistrate Judge Dolinger advised the parties that failure to file timely objections to Report II would constitute a waiver of those objections. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Neither party filed objections.

Magistrate Judge Dolinger determined that considering all the evidence presented by the parties, a reasonable fact-finder could find that Plaintiff was exposed to an unreasonable risk of serious harm from the environmental conditions. As to Plaintiff's specific environmental claims, Magistrate Judge Dolinger found that (1) the additional evidence proffered by Defendants did not suffice to show an absence of dispute as to the material facts concerning the conditions in the auto body shop, (2) Defendants failed to provide any evidence disputing Plaintiff's claim that he was exposed to asbestos for four to five hours a day over an extended period of time, or Plaintiff's claim that there is a risk to his health as a result of such exposure, (3) Defendants proffered no evidence with respect to Plaintiff's complaints about his cell having poor ventilation, inadequate heating and hot water and also misrepresented the record, (4) Plaintiff's evidence as to the quality of water and whether or not it posed a serious risk to Plaintiff remains a triable issue, and (5) Defendants failed to provide additional evidence regarding the exposure to cigarette smoke claim. Furthermore, Magistrate Judge Dolinger determined that whether or not Defendants acted with deliberate indifference remained a triable issue of fact. Similarly, Magistrate Judge Dolinger found that the issue of whether or not defendant Christopher Artuz was personally involved in any of Plaintiff's environmental claims also remains a triable issue. In light of

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the Defendants' failure to demonstrate the absence of triable issues of fact, the magistrate judge correctly denied Defendants' Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment on the environmental claims.

After carefully reviewing Report II, the Court finds that the report is not facially erroneous, and adopts Report II in its entirety. Accordingly, the Defendants' supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment on the environmental claims is denied.

SO ORDERED.

REPORT & RECOMMENDATION

MICHAEL H. DOLINGER, United States Magistrate Judge.

TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE B. DANIELS, U.S.D.J.:

Plaintiff Nahshon Jackson, an inmate in the New York State correctional system, filed this lawsuit in 1997 against a number of correctional staff and officials at Green Haven Correctional Facility ("Green Haven"). He alleged that defendants had violated his constitutional rights because (1) he was exposed to a host of toxic and dangerous environmental conditions in the prison, (2) he was denied adequate medical care for various maladies, (3) he was denied due process in a disciplinary hearing, (4) he was sexually assaulted by a prison officer, (5) his legal dictionary was improperly confiscated from him, and (6) he was improperly removed from his work site at the prison.

Following the completion of discovery, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, and on August 30, 2005, the District Court adopted our Report and Recommendation, granting summary judgment for defendants with respect to all of plaintiff's claims except for his environmental claims against defendants Christopher P. Artuz, George Smith, James P. Reilly, and Dick Hennessey, and his failure-to-treat claim against one defendant, Lynn Forgit. Defendants subsequently filed a supplemental motion for summary judgment on the environmental claims. Plaintiff opposes the motion.

For the reasons that follow, we recommend that defendants' motion be denied.

Plaintiff's Environmental Claims—Prior Proceedings

Plaintiff alleges harm from a host of environmental problems at Green Haven. His major environmental complaints are of (1) exposure to harmful chemicals through his work assignment at the auto body shop, (2) asbestos exposure in an area in Green Haven known as the J-School, (3) conditions in his cell, including bacteria in the ventilation system, (4) contamination of the drinking water, and (5) cigarette smoke exposure in the medical holding cell. (Compl. ¶¶ 13-23, 29, 31, 33-35, 36-39).1

In arguing for summary judgment on the environmental claims in their first motion, defendants proffered affidavits from Green Haven officials concerning the conditions in the auto body shop, some documents relating to the testing of Green Haven's water supply, and plaintiff's deposition testimony. (R & R 39). In recommending denial of summary judgment on these claims, we found that plaintiff's deposition testimony demonstrated the existence of triable disputes as to material facts about the conditions to which plaintiff was subjected in the auto body shop. (Id. at 46). As to the other environmental claims, we noted that in defendants' moving papers they had simply asserted, without

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explanation, that plaintiff could not "substantiate that any of the claims rise to the level of Eighth Amendment violations," that they had failed to point to anything in the record that would demonstrate the absence of a triable issue with respect to those claims, and that plaintiff's testimony demonstrated triable issues with respect to some or all of the claims. (Id. at 43-44). The District Court adopted our Report and Recommendation on August 8, 2005.

On August 25, 2005, defendants submitted a letter to the court requesting permission to file a supplemental motion for summary judgment to address the environmental claims. (Aug. 25, 2005 letter to the Hon. George B. Daniels from Assistant Att'y General Christine A. Ryan). Defendants stated that the previous summary-judgment motion had been filed by an attorney who was no longer with the office and that they could further develop the record to dispose of the claims before trial. (Id.). The court denied this request on August 30, 2005, and issued an amended order adopting our Report and Recommendation on that same day.

The court subsequently held a conference with the parties on April 12, 2007 in which defendants renewed their request to submit a supplemental summary judgment motion. (Tr. 2-3). The court granted this request, referring the motion to us. (Id. at 3). During the conference, plaintiff objected to the request, saying that he would be prejudiced because the case had been pending for many years, and because he had lost some of his papers in the course of being moved around to different prisons. (Id. at 5-6). The court told plaintiff that he could bring up those arguments in his response to the supplemental motion. (Id. at 6).

Following a telephone conference with the parties, we...

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27 practice notes
  • Smolen v. Fischer, 12 Civ. 1856 (PAC) (AJP)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • August 23, 2012
    ...of to be so grave that it violates contemporary standards of decency to expose anyone unwillingly to such a risk.Jackson v. Goord, 664 F. Supp. 2d 307, 316 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (citations omitted). The subjective test as applied to toxic exposure is as follows:Under the subjective test, a prison......
  • Reid v. Nassau Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't, 13-CV-1192 (SJF)(SIL)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • August 20, 2014
    ...v. Coughlin, 137 F.3d 68, 72 (2d Cir. 1998); Pratt v. City of New York, 929 F. Supp. 2d 314, 320 (S.D.N.Y. 2013); Jackson v. Goord, 664 F. Supp. 2d 307, 320Page 29(S.D.N.Y. 2009).14 "However, conditions that are temporary or occasional * * * have been found not to constitute a sufficiently ......
  • Rahman v. Schriro, No. 13–CV–6095 CS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • May 27, 2014
    ...objective and subjective components. Id. at 233–34 (citing Hathaway v. Coughlin, 99 F.3d 550, 553 (2d Cir.1996) ); Jackson v. Goord, 664 F.Supp.2d 307, 315–16 (S.D.N.Y.2009) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994) ). First, “the deprivation alleg......
  • Rahman v. Schriro, No. 13–CV–6095 (CS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • May 27, 2014
    ...objective and subjective components. Id. at 233–34 (citing Hathaway v. Coughlin, 99 F.3d 550, 553 (2d Cir.1996)); Jackson v. Goord, 664 F.Supp.2d 307, 315–16 (S.D.N.Y.2009) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994)). First, “the deprivation alleged......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • Smolen v. Fischer, 12 Civ. 1856 (PAC) (AJP)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • August 23, 2012
    ...of to be so grave that it violates contemporary standards of decency to expose anyone unwillingly to such a risk.Jackson v. Goord, 664 F. Supp. 2d 307, 316 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (citations omitted). The subjective test as applied to toxic exposure is as follows:Under the subjective test, a prison......
  • Reid v. Nassau Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't, 13-CV-1192 (SJF)(SIL)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • August 20, 2014
    ...v. Coughlin, 137 F.3d 68, 72 (2d Cir. 1998); Pratt v. City of New York, 929 F. Supp. 2d 314, 320 (S.D.N.Y. 2013); Jackson v. Goord, 664 F. Supp. 2d 307, 320Page 29(S.D.N.Y. 2009).14 "However, conditions that are temporary or occasional * * * have been found not to constitute a sufficiently ......
  • Rahman v. Schriro, No. 13–CV–6095 CS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • May 27, 2014
    ...objective and subjective components. Id. at 233–34 (citing Hathaway v. Coughlin, 99 F.3d 550, 553 (2d Cir.1996) ); Jackson v. Goord, 664 F.Supp.2d 307, 315–16 (S.D.N.Y.2009) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994) ). First, “the deprivation alleg......
  • Rahman v. Schriro, No. 13–CV–6095 (CS).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • May 27, 2014
    ...objective and subjective components. Id. at 233–34 (citing Hathaway v. Coughlin, 99 F.3d 550, 553 (2d Cir.1996)); Jackson v. Goord, 664 F.Supp.2d 307, 315–16 (S.D.N.Y.2009) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994)). First, “the deprivation alleged......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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